UN Special Representative Says No Neighbor Should Treat Iraq as its Backyard

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (UNAMI)
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (UNAMI)
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UN Special Representative Says No Neighbor Should Treat Iraq as its Backyard

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (UNAMI)
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (UNAMI)

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, has called on Iraqi leaders to "engage in dialogue," emphasizing the importance of embarking on a path towards political stability.

Plasschaert stressed on Tuesday that "public disillusion is running sky-high," noting that "no neighbor should treat Iraq as its backyard."

Speaking at a Security Council session, the official said that since the elections last October, there have been many calls for Iraqi leaders to overcome their differences and form a government.

"It is in the power of any Iraqi leader to drag the country into a protracted and deadly conflict, as it is in their power to place the national interest first and lift the country out of this crisis," she said.

She warned that "actors across the spectrum failed to place the national interest first. They left the country in a prolonged impasse, fueling already simmering anger.

"Meanwhile, the ordinary Iraqi citizen was being held hostage to an unpredictable and untenable situation."

She stressed that "with risks of further strife and bloodshed still very tangible, dwelling on who did what when is no longer an option."

"We brought our full support to the National Dialogue under the auspices of Iraq's Prime Minister [Mustafa Kadhimi]," said Plasschaert, adding that the forum convened twice, and for this initiative to bear fruit, all parties must take their seat.

"There are solutions," Plasschaert said, noting that it all comes down to political will. She asserted that all leaders should assume responsibility and "return the spotlight where it must be: on the people of Iraq."

"I raised the alarm at Turkish and Iranian shelling in the North having become the "new normal" for Iraq," said the UN official, adding that these reckless acts, which have devastating consequences, killing and injuring people, must cease.

Meanwhile, the Deputy US Representative to the UN, Richard Mills, "strongly" condemned the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) missile and drone attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan Region on September 28 in a "major escalation of Iranian violations of Iraqi sovereignty."

Mills said, "Such a brazen attack on a neighbor's territory, especially one that results in the deaths of innocent civilians, is morally reprehensible."

Although the elections were credible, peaceful, and well-managed, said Mills, the "elected parliamentarians and their party leaders have failed to form a government that serves the people of Iraq."

He urged Iraq's elected leaders to "shoulder their responsibilities, make compromises, avoid violence, and form an inclusive government capable of delivering transparent, effective governance."

Also at the session, Iraq's UN Representative, Mohammad Bahr al-Uloom, said that the Turkish and Iranian violation of Iraq's lands and airspace are continuing under pretenses.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned Iran's ambassador and handed him a "strongly worded" letter containing the government's condemnation of this heinous crime.

He pointed out that the political process in his country witnessed a stalemate that led to delaying the formation of the new cabinet, noting that all parties and political blocs were aware of this, which led to a constructive dialogue to reach solutions to the political impasse.



Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
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Sudan's RSF Agrees with UN on Steps to Ease Aid Delivery

Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)
Sudanese farmers plow a field on the outskirts of Sudan's eastern city of Gedaref on July 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Sudan's Rapid Support Forces agreed with the United Nations on some steps to ease aid delivery in areas under its control, a member of the RSF told Reuters on Thursday.

The Sudanese army has not reached any understandings on aid delivers with the RSF, he added. It is unclear if these steps could be implemented without the army's participation.

Meanwhile, a key supply route into Sudan's Darfur region, deemed at risk of famine by a global monitor, has been cut off due to heavy rains, a World Food Program official told Reuters on Thursday.
The UN agency has described Sudan as the world's biggest hunger crisis, with the western Darfur region most at risk as Sudan's 15-month civil war that has displaced millions and sparked ethnic violence grinds on.
WFP's Country Director Eddie Rowe said thousands of tons of aid are stranded at the Tina crossing on the Chad border, prompting the body to reopen talks with the army-aligned government to open an alternative, all-weather crossing further south called Adre.
"You have these huge rivers. As I speak now, our convoy, which is supposed to move over 2000 metric tons is stranded," he told Reuters from Port Sudan. Asked on the status of the talks that resumed this week, he said: "It's 50/50.”
WFP is now seeking clearances to move a large 70-truck convoy via a little-used, over 1000 kilometer route from Port Sudan to Darfur which Rowe said will involve crossing the battle lines of both the Sudan Armed Forces, the Rapid Support Forces and various militias.
He added that this mostly desert route has worked in the past but outside of the rainy season and that the last journey took weeks and was "fraught with a lot of challenges.”
In a separate interview, Mona Rishmawi, a member of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Sudan, told Reuters that she had met Darfur refugees in Chad who told her stories of escaping with virtually no water and eating grass along the route. "There's no doubt that people are starving," she said.